Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese President Xi Jinping (Imran Khan-Xi Jinping)
China Pakistan CPEC News: An agreement has been reached between China and Pakistan to develop Karachi port. In such a situation, it is believed that the center of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will no longer be Gwadar but Karachi. This is because both China and Pakistan are very nervous due to the continuous bomb attacks in the southwestern Balochistan province. CPEC is part of China’s Belt and Road Project (China Pakistan CPEC). A Memorandum of Understanding for the Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development Zone Project has been signed during the recently held 10th Joint Cooperation Committee meeting of CPEC after a gap of nearly two years.
China will invest 3.5 billion dollars for this. This has also been separately confirmed by the spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry. The project includes adding new berths to Karachi port, developing a new fishing port and setting up a trade zone on 640 hectares of land to the west of the Karachi Port Trust. The project also plans to build a bridge connecting the port to the nearby Manora islands (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Project). Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has described the joining of the Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development Area (CPEC) with the CPEC as a “game changer”.
Attack on vehicle of Chinese nationals
Gwadar is no longer considered suitable for Chinese investment. In August, there was a suicide attack targeting a vehicle here. There were Chinese citizens on board (CPEC Project Update). Two children died and three people were injured in this incident. Separatist militants have been waging insurgency in Balochistan for a long time. The attacks have increased since Imran Khan started talks with separatists opposing China’s Belt and Road initiative in July. It is believed that the government took this step to maintain stability in the region after the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.
Saudi shifts oil refinery
It was already foreseen that the situation would worsen. Saudi Arabia in June decided to shift the proposed $10 billion oil refinery from Gwadar to Karachi. After which the government’s plan to make Gwadar an energy center suffered a major setback. In the Gwadar region, people have already been protesting against the lack of water and electricity. Now foreign investment in Gwadar seems to be decreasing continuously (China Investment in Pakistan CPEC). Talking about Karachi, it is the largest city and major commercial center of Pakistan. The busiest port is also present here.
China won’t mind
Malik Siraj Akbar, an expert on South Asian affairs in Washington, says that China wants to leave a mark of its growing power through CPEC, it has nothing to do with the development of any region (Latest News on CPEC). In such a situation, if the project shifts from Gwadar to Karachi, then China will not mind. “Pakistan and China had the opportunity to develop the port in a conflict zone (Gwadar), but several factors such as corruption, mismanagement, lack of public support and transparency have led to losses in the Gwadar port,” Malik says. ‘
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